From the moment we are born, we are pursuing knowledge. We are surrounded by an environment that permeates our senses and teaches us many valuable lessons. In the story "The Lesson" by Toni Cade Bambara, the teacher, Miss Moore, brings the poverty stricken children to a rich toy store. She attempts to tell them that education is the only way for them to get out that poor neighborhood and improve their living standard, but this truth falls on deaf ears. .
In this short story, Bambara tells of a little girl who does not think education is of such importance for her and her friends. She does not appreciate the lesson that Miss Moore is trying to teach the children and so is blind to the fact of how she can improve her social situation. This naive girl grew up in a poor, rough neighborhood and she does not see the point why she has to educate herself while her friends are able to "go to the pool or to the show where it's cool or go to the Sunset and terrorize the West Indian kids and take their hair ribbons and their money too" (Pg 904). She has grown accustomed to living in poverty and does not see the connection between education and advancement in social status. Because the children do not know any better, there's no competition to improve and each reinforces their own ignorant situation. There is an example of this that can be seen when the children talk about their study areas at home. When one child talks about how she does her homework in her house, the other kids disregard this topic and show their lack of support through their actions. Because it has been ingrained in them from an early age, these children are proud of their poverty stricken existence and humble lives that they live.
Miss Moore attempts to change their minds by bringing them to the expensive toy store and showing them that there are many things that they could have in their lives with a proper education. The children are fascinated by all these expensive toys and as they claim which toy they would like to get, they are also shocked and surprised by the cost of the toys.